It turns out even if you do not get enough sleep, your brain will fall asleep anyway.
More than half of Americans get less than the necessary seven hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation
A recent USA Today report said a lack of sleep could be deadly. The report claims people need sleep so our brain can rest.
KREM 2 News reached out to Hans Van Dongen, a professor at the Elson S Floyd College of Medicine and the director of the Sleep and Performance Center at WSU to see how sleep affects the brain. He is also a professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
Van Dongen said there is not enough evidence yet to show if we can die from lack of sleep.
What we do know is your brain takes its own 'cat naps' through-out the day so it can get the sleep it needs. Even if you are sleep deprived, the brain will cheat your body and get the sleep it needs anyway.
This is not always a good thing. The brain takes naps in different regions of the brain at different times. For example, if you are driving and about to hit a pedestrian, the part of your brain that needs to process this may be taking a nap. Therefore, you may not be able to react to that situation.
Another example is if you encounter a door. You may pull when the door says "push," but you keep pulling anyway.
That's because the part of the brain that should tell you it is asleep can not do it... because it is sleeping. So, it is difficult to change your course of action.
Make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep. This may help your brain and prevent it from taking its own naps.